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Locke Vs Hobbes

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Essay title: Locke Vs Hobbes

This paper relates that Thomas Hobbes and John Locke represent opposite ends of the spectrum of seventeenth century political philosophy.

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Paper Summary:

This paper explains that Thomas Hobbes, who believed that man was cruel and evil by nature, espoused the idea that only the firm grip of an absolute authority would be successful in governing a society of men; countering this extreme view, John Locke put forth the idea that man was rational and peace-seeking by nature and that any useful system of government must be chosen by men and must serve the best interests of the polity. The author points out that, despite these difference, both philosophers argued their cases within the same terms of debate; both (1) spoke of social contracts and of the nature of man, (2) were concerned with defining the type of government that would be best suited to govern societies, as well as the reasons why man should submit to any form of government at all and (3) were concerned with the ultimate objective of avoiding conflict and violence and thereby assisting their fellow men in the task of peaceful coexistence. The paper summarizes that Hobbes had a dimmer view of mankind than Locke because, in the Hobbesian world, every man is preoccupied with the task of survival and will do anything to meet his goal of self-preservation; whereas, Locke expounds on mankind's virtues and on his innate sense of morality.


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